Mental health has much to do with trust. Trust can release us from stress and anxiety. It is important to understand how we can build that trust.
If you don’t trust, you build walls between yourself and others. These walls serve, say the suspicious, to protect against being deceived; but living in isolation impedes recovering from personal behavioral difficulties. It is true that the solution is not to trust blindly, but to discern who is trustworthy and who is not. Trusting serious, ethical and honest people never leads us to problems, but if you trust people of bad character, problems arise in your life. Many of us may have been practicing this for a long time, and therefore suffering unnecessarily.
You should not demand of yourself unshakable loyalty to someone who is not trustworthy. Trust is something to be earned, acquired. We should not blindly trust others, but to patiently wait to see if the other person has learned, and values being trusted because of following our good example. Our goal should be to discern wisely who is trustworthy and who is not.
Interestingly, Jesus Christ alerted us to how we should behave in contact with others:
Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.Matthew 10:16
When we are afraid, we usually act in control, or try to control. We want to control events, destiny, people, which increases stress and frustrates us even more. When we don’t trust God, or what you believe to be a higher power, the tendency is to control. But the best way to resolve fear is to trust. Understanding and accepting that good and bad things happen in our life, whether or not we have control.
To face fear and for it to gradually disappear, you need to cultivate trust in yourself, in God – the Creator of the Universe, and trust in the support of people who like you. You can learn to trust that when things don’t work out the way you want, the Creator will have something better planned. We can trust that the Creator of the Universe will give us the right direction we need; and that whatever we need on our journey will come to us.
We won’t get everything we need for the journey of a lifetime today. We will receive today’s supply for today, and tomorrow for tomorrow. The manna that fell from heaven to feed the Israelite people in the desert was in the right portion for each person and for that day. Only on Friday it fell twice as much, so that it would not be harvested on Sabbath. The Creator God does not allow your burdens to be carried today to be too heavy, beyond what you can bear. Think about it! He is in control and he is the only being capable of controlling things and people in a healthy and liberating way.
Learning to trust requires cultivating patience and to wait. I saw in the news about a young man who got impatient when facing traffic that was very slow. He lost emotional self-control and fired shots at the car in front, killing an innocent young woman. His argument at the police station for having shot and killed the young woman was his impatience with the traffic. The Bible warns us of the following:
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.Proverbs 25:28
To live better, it is necessary to learn to wait. Have you noticed how impatient and irritated people are? Some people base their calm and patience on depending on the effect of some drug or medication. They didn’t understand, or understood but didn’t want to change, that the most important thing to deal with impatience is not the medication, but knowing how to deal well with the emotion of impatience.
One truth of life is that we can’t always have what we want when we want it. Could it be that one of the motivations of people who became multimillionaires could have been that, when they got rich, they could have whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it? Many young adults, men and women pass through burnout, because they struggle with obsession to achieve things before their time. And usually it’s the money. Years ago in Japan, young entrepreneurs died suddenly from an illness called karoshi, which is a type of sudden death from exhaustion. They wanted to reach 30 years of age as millionaires. You can burn yourself out by trying to get today what will come in a healthy way later.
Waiting is not a waste of time. Things in life only happen when we are ready. There’s no way to speed up and maintain sanity of mind. For everything there is a timing. Timing means the right thing at the right time. You are not going to stop your life by having to wait. Other things continue and you will get involved in them; in the meantime, cultivate gratitude and acceptance of what is possible. There’s a life to live while you’re waiting for what you want. Coping with frustration and impatience is important in learning to wait and trust.
Emotional healing is a process of learning to trust. Trusting God, trusting people you can trust, trusting the healthy part of yourself. Trust grows slowly! It’s just like that. We cannot trust overnight. Trust is built one day at a time.
It’s interesting that the Creator of the Universe comes to help us, and even though He’s the one who keeps us alive, He respects our decision, our defenses, our timing. The Bible says that He knocks at the door and waits. He doesn’t invade our lives. By knocking He makes an invitation, not an invasion! Some people enter without knocking, they don’t respect the boundaries. Some think that, because they are from the same family, they can invade your privacy; but they shouldn´t; don’t allow it.
God knocks and waits. In our maturity we can for one day only hear Him knocking, but later we can say: who is there? And further on, since He doesn’t give up on us and knock again, maybe we can let Him in and sit with Him and enjoy His loving presence that instructs us, teaches us to be patient, to wait and to trust.
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Dr. Cesar Vasconcellos de Souza is working as a psychiatrist and international speaker. He is author of 3 books, columnist of the health magazine “Vida e Saúde” for 25 years, and has a regular program on the “Novo Tempo” TV channel.